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Sudbury Indie Cinema pushing for co-operative housing

A presentation about co-operative housing is taking place at Sudbury Indie Cinema at 7 p.m. on Monday
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Sudbury Indie Cinema executive director Beth Mairs.

In hopes of spurring the creation of more co-operative housing in the city, Sudbury Indie Cinema is hosting a presentation at 7 p.m. on Monday.

The event will “explore the expansion of co-op housing as a partial solution to our affordable housing crisis in town,” a media release by Beth Mairs said. 

In addition to serving as acting executive director at Sudbury Indie Cinema, a not-for-profit co-op, Mairs is on the board of the Canadian Co-operative Investment Fund, which is lending out $20 million to strengthen the co-op sector across Canada.

Sudbury Indie Cinema was only able to push forward with obtaining their space at 162 Mackenzie St. as a result of help from the fund, and it remains the only beneficiary in Northern Ontario.

“Across Canada, in many regions, the bulk of financing deals from CCIF are going out to co-op housing projects,” Mairs notes in her correspondence. 

Fund manager Julia Vlad will be in Greater Sudbury for two days to not only head Monday night’s presentation, but to also meet with people one-on-one to talk about what the organization has to offer. 

“Although we finance all sectors, given the drastic need for housing across the country, we have financed 21 loans to 16 housing projects across the country since 2012 for over $13M,” Vlad said in a release.

“When we consider the vast difference between paying current market rates vs rent geared to income, we begin to see a way forward to help stabilize folks caught in a vicious cycle,” Mairs’ letter reads. “Also, to expand affordable housing, in general, begins to address our homelessness crisis as well. We also have several existing housing co-ops who dream of making improvements but are cash-strapped.”

Vlad’s presentation begins at 7 p.m. Monday and will be held at the Sudbury Indie Cinema building at 162 Mackenzie Street. There is free parking in the laneway by the side-door entrance, and proof of double vaccination and a photo ID will be required to attend the building, where they are maintaining a 50-person limit.

Long-time co-op housing resident and proponent Tracy Gregory will also speak at the event, which is scheduled to be one hour in duration.